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A Gallic times, Saintes was a territory in which lived a Gallic people called Santon and which grew Mediolanum . The city built on the banks of the Charente and the culmination of Agrippa linking Lyon to Aquitania became an important administrative centre. The ancient Mediolanum was then with a monumental ensemble worthy of a great capital. It attests to the Roman will mark its grip on the city. The development of the city as a testament to the exchange of lifestyles between Gauls and Romans.
Mediolanum is the first historical capital of Aquitaine, one of the three major regions of Gaul by Caesar conquered Gaul.
Some buildings still preserved-
Fragments of other monuments, mostly remarkable series of blocks belonging to public or monuments from the 1st century, reused in the construction of the wall in the third century, are presented in the Archaeological Museum of Saintes.
It is one of the largest and oldest amphitheatres hairy Gaul. One of the best preserved too! Here, gladiators led games at risk ... to life and death.
Built around 40 AD in a small natural valley whose sides supported the stands, it could accommodate several thousand people. The arena is over 66 meters long and 39 meters wide. The two major eastern and western gates of the amphitheatre allowed to communicate with the outside. Through the door Sanavivaria or door of the living, entered the pumped (Grand Entry) and emerged the victors gladiators. Through the door Libitinensis or door of the dead (the name of the goddess of funerals) came the remains of gladiators and animals killed.
Today, if the superstructures have disappeared and the green replaced the stands, the current building can enjoy the beautiful master plan, the method of construction and the complexity of traffic systems. It is one of the great witnesses of romanization Country Santon.
Road arc, it commemorated the completion of the large cross road of Gaul (the Agrippa).
It also marked the main entrance to the Roman city and opened on a bridge. Built in 18-
In 1843 during the demolition of the Roman bridge which threatened ruin arc was laid stone by stone and reassembled a few meters from its original location. Prosper Merimee, then Inspector of Historic Monuments, was the initiator of this safeguard.
The arc Germanicus double arcade, votive and not triumphal arch is decorated in a simple with simple columns and fluted pilasters topped with Corinthian capitals. The bow is also epigraphic support. Caius Julius Rufus, the donor had engraved on the bow his titles and his genealogy of Gallic origin.